Last night's game showed what good goaltending and defense will do for you. Consider these numbers:
Wild - 23 goals for - only 3 teams have more in the West, and 7 overall. Everybody says the Wild are really missing Gaborik - these numbers indicate otherwise.
Wild - 27 goals against - tied for worst in the west. Only Washington and Buffalo have allowed more.
If the Wild get back to the kind of hockey they are used to playing, they might do well after all, with or without Gaborik. Hopefully, for Wild fans anyway, this road trip got them back on the right track.
Unfortunately, I wonder whether our defensive numbers are so bad because our guys have been forced to make offensive plays instead of simply doing their jobs. Maybe it's forcing Antti and Wes to try and make plays instead of just shutting down the opposition. If Gabby was here, our guys could focus on their responsibilities instead of trying to assume Marian's. I don't know. Just a thought. I do agree wholeheartedly though that the Wild could still be fighting for the #8 playoff spot this April. This team isn't bad. It's just better with Gaborik.
I had the same thought Dan-O - no doubt they've been trying to pick up the slack in the absence of the holdouts. Now that Dupuis is back, perhaps that will restore some sense of normalcy.
The goaltending does need to pick up though if this team is going anywhere, and Manny's performance last night was a huge step towards that.
Granted the goals for aren't a problem right now...they probably will be soon. I like your team...they work so hard...but guaranteed they're getting frustrated w/out their best player. Long season so I'd start to pray for a signing. With your payroll there should be a little more give on Managements side.
Remember that Park was out for a few games, Walz missed two games, Zholtok is out, Dupuis missed 9 games.Roche the puck moving D man is a rookie and is looking better. Burns, Bradner were rookies. Kuba is logging 27 + min a game with the inexperiance on D. When everyone is all healthy and used to the new guys we will be allright
Although I do agree with the general sentiment of this thread - that the Wild can be a decent team without Gaborik - I think the raw stats stated are a little misleading, especially at this state of the season.
The Wild have played 10 games while other teams have 1-2 less goals but have played 1-2 less games. If you look at the Wild's goal per game average they get 2.30gpg and that ranks 16th in the league (9th in West).
Their goals against average is tied for 23rd in the league (11th in West).
Something interesting I found while looking this up (espn), despite the impression most of us have, we're still the 6th least penalized team in the league. If we cut down on the bench minors we'd be even better.
Our PP is tied for 12th (16.7%) and our PK is 9th (85.7%).